50 Words or Less
The Titleist 917D2 driver is more forgiving than any Titleist driver in memory. Not very long. A miss aesthetically.
Congratulations, Titleist, your drivers now have adjustable weight. We’ll overlook the fact that TaylorMade has been doing this for almost a decade.
Planned obsolescence aside, the 917D2 does offer a meaningful change from the 915 drivers. The question we asked is, do they actually perform better?
The Titleist 917D2 has a confusing look. It’s immediately recognizable as a Titleist driver because of the grey crown and the triangle alignment aid, but that’s where it stops.
The 917D2 is very round, abandoning the pear shape that Titleist has been known for. More surprising is the way the movable weight is implemented – it looks like someone taped a battery to the sole. For a company that puts such an emphasis on appealing to the better player, this driver is a big miss.
Sound & Feel
The acoustics of the 917D2 will make the traditionalists quite happy. Impact produces a fairly quiet sound with a solid, slightly metallic character. The feel is solid and offers moderate feedback on strike location.
Historically, Titleist drivers have been high spinning and not very forgiving. The 917D2 driver makes modest improvements to the spin and significant improvements to the forgiveness.
Regular readers know that I’m a fairly low-spin player. Despite that, the 917D2 consistently wandered into the 2000+ RPM range. If you’re a high spin player, the 917D2 will likely cost you significant distance.
The forgiveness, however, was very surprising. There is a noticeable loss of ball speed when you move off the sweet spot, but I was impressed by how the ball wanted to go straight even on mishits.
Finally, the the SureFit CG is an impactful, if user-unfriendly bit of technology. There are two weights – one that’s neutral and one that can move the weight to the heel or toe. You can feel the sweet spot move when you flip the weight from heel to toe and there is an impact on shot shape.
For the Titleist fanboy who needs forgiveness, the 917D2 driver will be a big hit. Most players, however, will be able to find other drivers that offer more: more forgiveness, more distance, and more user-friendly adjustability.